New Zealand heavyweight Joseph Parker looks set to face unheralded American Shawndell Winters in his next fight in Texas.
Parker fights in Frisco, on the outskirts of Dallas, in a Matchroom Boxing promotion at the end of February.
Attempts to get a late opponent have reportedly resulted in Winters agreeing terms from a shortlist that also included the respectable Polish fighter Mariusz Wach.
Polish reports confirmed Wach was out of the frame and ESPN reported Winters will fight Parker with BoxRec having the American listed as the opponent for the Texas promotion headlined by the Mikey Garcia-Jessie Vargas fight.
Winters is 13-2 in a professional career that only started in 2015. He has 12 wins via knockout and has also fought at cruiserweight.
BoxRec have Winters ranked as the 12th best American heavyweight and at No 48 in their world listings. Parker is their world No 14.
Winters was touted as a prospect three years ago but two losses have dimmed those hopes. But, like Parker, he comes into the fight on the back of two wins.
Winters recently defeated previously unbeaten Oleksandr Teslenko (16-1, 12 KOs) by a fifth round knockout last September in Canada and followed that up with a stoppage win against another Polish fighter, Sergiej Werwejko.
He is known for his aggression and despite the huge gap in rankings – Parker is at No 2 with the WBO – the Kiwi will need to treat the American with plenty of respect.
Parker needs a convincing victory as he looks to keep himself in the frame for another shot at a world title.
After a year where he fought just once, Parker, 28, is desperate for a busy and productive 2020.
Parker vs Winters Feb. 29: Frisco, Texas (DAZN)
- Mikey Garcia vs. Jessie Vargas, 12 rounds, welterweights
- Title fight: Kal Yafai vs. Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez, 12 rounds, for Yafai’s WBA junior bantamweight title
- Title fight: Julio Cesar Martinez vs. Jay Harris, 12 rounds, for Martinez’s WBC flyweight title
- Joseph Parker vs. Shawndell Winters, 10 rounds, heavyweights
- Murat Gassiev vs. Jerry Forrest, 10 rounds, heavyweights
- Israil Madrimov vs. Charlie Navarro, 10 rounds, junior middleweights